With no candidate in the Denton mayor’s race receiving at least 50% of the vote in unofficial returns, Keely Briggs and Gerard Hudspeth are headed to a runoff.

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Mayoral candidate Gerard Hudspeth talks to a supporter during an election watch party Tuesday night at Golden Triangle Mall.

“That’s what it looks like to me,” said Hudspeth, the mayor pro tem who represents District 1. “I don’t think we had a high amount of voters today. But with Birdia Johnson winning her race [in District 1], I will roll off the council on Nov. 17 and campaign for the runoff. I’m so proud of her, and I want to thank God for Mayor [Chris] Watts. He’s had the longest run and done it with grace. I appreciate him.”

Briggs, the District 2 incumbent, received 48.5% of the vote. Hudspeth garnered 41.7%. Michael Mitchell received 9.8% of the vote.

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Denton mayoral candidate Keely Briggs watches voting returns in her living room Tuesday night.

“We move forward,” Briggs said. “It’s been a long campaign, for sure. I was out today at the polls, and it didn’t feel like a lot of people were coming out to vote.”

A community volunteer, Briggs is in her third term on the council. Hudspeth, a litigation consultant, is in his second term.

The top money recipient, Hudspeth garnered $16,860 during the latest filing period for campaign-finance reports, from Sept. 25 to Oct. 24. Of that, $13,000 came from donors who do not live in Denton, including $5,000 from the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas and $3,000 from the Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas.

Briggs received $3,835 in contributions during the latest filing period. But only $75 is from donors who do not live in Denton. In all, she raised nearly $17,000 this year.

The third candidate for mayor, Mitchell, reported no contributions for all reporting periods combined.

Hudspeth said Johnson will be sworn in on Nov. 17.

PAUL BRYANT can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @paulbryant_DRC.

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